If you have to ask you'll never know ! [L.Armstrong]... thats Louis not Lance.

Dec 6, 2007

Green was an adjective not a noun !

Presents were never ripped open in front of the presenter. You carefully peeled away the sticky tape later and folded the wrapping paper and put it under the mattress. [ With the crosses from Palm Sunday ]. To be recycled for the time when you would be the presenter. String that held parcles together would be unravelled and added to the ever growing ball in the cupboard. Old toothbrushes were kept below the bathroom basin to come into service for cleaning the kitchen and bathroom tiling grout [ Ok Joints]. Bottles. If they were white bottles they'd be saved for holding KalaKatha concentrate which mixed with soda gave you something that came closer to Coca Cola than the real thing. Or orange juice or limbu [ Ok Lemon ] concentrate in the summer. Best of all for bottle masala, or vindaloo powder or sec sec or any of the million and one combinations of crushed chilli, tumeric ,pepper, ginger that brought the masalchis from Vasai pounding to our door. The bottle came into service best at Divali when it formed the launcing pad for rockets. If you were brave and stupid you held the bottle in your hand while your not so brave and cleverer friend / brother lit the fuse and ran back. While you tried to get the rocket to hit plant holder hanging on the sixth floor balcony. Beer bottles fetched you a buck a piece. Eleven empty beer bottles got you enough money for one full one.[ Yes I'm that old !] Coloured bottles with caps were used to store wine. The darkened color of the bottle helped keep the wine stable. Fused light bulbs and bottles without caps were filled with water and money plants thrived in them. Crawling up the window grills they were suspended from and bringing nature into ever higher flats. And when the bottle was totally toally gone you crushed it into as fine a powder as you could and saved it for kite flying season when you made your own manja. Empty bottles of Scotch with the label intact were sold to the Jari Purana Bai who came around with a basket on her head. What she needed it for you found out when you bought some Johnny Walker at Christmas time and it tasted like Santra. Paper you lined the dutbin with. You spread out on the staircase landing floor when the barber came to give you a haircut. Or you gave to the altarboys when they had a newspaper drive to raise money for their annual picnic. Old hacksaw blades could be sharpened into the finest kitchen knives with electrical tape wound many times over making a handle. Old sari's were joined together to make quilts and old shirts cut into squares for dusters. Old drawing crayons were the coloring for your homemade Christmas candles. Old curtains were the new cover for the Rajdoot mototrcycle that your father loved more than your mother. [ She was the transfigurer ]. Stale bread made bread pudding for tea the next day. Or bread crumbs stored in a wide mouth bottle to bread the cutlets with. Stale cake...
There never was a chance for the cake to go stale. We're bandra buggers after all.

3 comments:

Anders from Anderi said...

How true! When there's a buck to be saved every Indian worth his chilli powder turns green. In fact stats show that India recycles more paper and plastic in percentage terms than the US.

It is amazing how those newspaper and bottle collection drives funded so much stuff for our youth club.
I still rmember the calls of "Dhabha batli wala, sammmaaaaan purane" echoing in the hot afternoons of May just when one was about to fall into a sound afternoon nap. Bugger.

wendy said...

The morning cuppa chai and the Bandrabuggerblog - what a way to start the day! Just stepped into the annual clean up and am sorrowfully parting with that carefully rolled up ball of string and those yellowing cuttings with all the handy hints. Next on the list: the old clothes for the white elephant and fond farewells to the cracked crockery. Your blog just added to the nostalgia. Catch you tomorrow.

Bhavik said...

I tell everyone that we, in India, were recycling before it become a word and long before it become hip to do so. Your incredible memory & eye for detail just endorses what our parents have always taught us to do...

PS: tell Anders fm Andheri that the "juna purana" wallas still roam the Bandra gullies looking to con a few more "buggers" into parting with their grandparents antiques...